Employees in the Golden State can expect some of the best workplace rights protections in the United States and the world. California defines more than a dozen protected classes of people by gender, race, disability and other personal factors that may not suffer discrimination under the state’s law. This means that none of these groups may be treated differently in the workplace based on those factors.
An electronics company recently settled a bevy of federal charges regarding pay equity. Employees in California and North Carolina reportedly earned less due to gender or race in direct violation of federal and state laws.
Female engineers and marketers, as well as manufacturers, in worksites in Pleasanton and Santa Clara claimed that they were paid less than their male counterparts since at least 2014. The U.S. Labor Department discovered this while investigating a complaint last year.
The settlement requires that back wages totaling $2.9 million be paid along with interest to the victims of the illegal pay differential. The company’s status as a federal contractor was also in danger due to the violations.
The firm denied liability as a condition of the settlement, but promised to make pay adjustments for the claimants and ensure their compliance with federal and state employment laws.
Victims of a company’s failure to achieve pay equity or other violations of employment law may have a case for a civil lawsuit. The results may include damages that cover the cost of the violations, as well as punitive damages to end a bad practice. Legal representation may increase a suit’s chance of success.
Source: Austin Business Journal, “Dell EMC agrees to spend nearly $3 million to settle pay discrimination investigation,” Patrick Chu, May 15, 2018